Town of Highlands, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Highlands 5-25-1978 by L.L. No. 3-1978. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 210.

§ 97-1 Definitions.

A. 
Unless the context shall otherwise require, the terms, phrases, words and their derivatives used in this chapter shall have the same meaning as those defined in § 8-0105 of the Environmental Conservation Law and Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
EXEMPT ACTION
Any one of the following:
(1) 
Enforcement or criminal proceeding or the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in determining whether or not to institute such proceedings.
(2) 
Ministerial actions.
(3) 
Maintenance or repair involving no substantial changes in existing structure or facility.
(4) 
Actions exempt under § 97-19 of this chapter (actions approved prior to effective dates).
(5) 
Actions which are immediately necessary on a limited emergency basis for the protection or preservation of life, health, property or natural resources.
PLANNING BOARD
The Planning Board of the Town of Highlands.
TOWN
The Town of Highlands.
TOWN BOARD
The Town Board of the Town of Highlands.

§ 97-2 Compliance required.

No decision to carry out or approve an action other than an action listed in § 97-3B hereof or § 617.13 of 6 NYCRR as Type II action, shall be made by the Town Board or by any department, board, commission, officer or employee of the town until there has been full compliance with all requirements of this chapter and Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting:
A. 
The conducting of contemporaneous environmental, engineering, economic feasibility or other studies and preliminary planning and budgeting processes necessary to the formulation of a proposal for action which do not commit the town to approve, commence or engage in such action; or
B. 
The granting of any part of an application which relates only to technical specifications and requirements, provided that no such partial approval shall entitle or permit the applicant to commence the action until all requirements of this chapter and Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR have been fulfilled.

§ 97-3 Lists of actions.

A. 
Consistent with Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR and the criteria therein, the actions listed in § 617.12 of Title 6 NYCRR as Type I actions are likely to have a significant effect on the environment.
B. 
Consistent with Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR and the criteria therein, the actions listed in § 617.13 of Title 6 NYCRR as Type II actions are deemed not to have a significant effect on the environment

§ 97-4 Required statement of applicant.

For the purpose of assisting in the determination of whether an action may or will not have a significant effect on the environment, applicants for permits or other approvals shall file a written statement with the Planning Board setting forth the name of the applicant; the location of the real property affected, if any; a description of the nature of the proposed action; and the effect it may have on the environment. In addition, applicants may include a detailed statement of the reasons why, in their view, a proposed action may or will not have a significant effect on the environment. Where the action involves an application, the statement shall be filed simultaneously with the application for the action. The statement to the Planning Board shall contain such additional relevant information as shall be required in the prescribed form. Such statement shall be accompanied by drawings, sketches and maps, if any, together with any other relevant explanatory material required by the Planning Board. In the event that there is no form prescribed for any application to be made, the applicant shall submit, in writing, all pertinent information concerning the project in a form applicant believes will be most helpful for the review of its project.

§ 97-5 Notice of application.

Upon receipt of a complete application and a statement, the Planning Board shall cause a notice thereof to be posted on the Town Clerk's sign board maintained by the town and may also cause such notice to be published in the official newspaper of the town, describing the nature of the proposed action and stating that written views thereon of any person shall be received by the Planning Board no later than a date specified in such notice.

§ 97-6 Initial determination.

A. 
The Planning Board shall render a written determination on such application within 15 days following receipt of a complete application and statement; provided, however, that such period may be extended by mutual agreement of the applicant and the Planning Board. The determination shall state whether such proposed action may or will not have a significant effect on the environment. The Planning Board may hold informal meetings with the applicant and may meet with and consult any other person for the purpose of aiding it in making a determination on the application.
B. 
The time limitations provided in this chapter shall be coordinated with, to the extent practicable, other time limitations provided by statute or local law, ordinance or regulation of the town.

§ 97-7 Application fee.

A. 
Every application for determination under this chapter shall be accompanied by a reasonable fee as provided in the town's Standard Schedule of Fees, as set by resolution of the Town Board from time to time. The fees shall be determined by resolution of the Town Board and in no event shall exceed those fees provided for in the Environmental Conservation Law and Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
If the Planning Board determines that the proposed action is either exempt or will have no significant effect on the environment then no fee shall be due hereunder; provided, however, that if any hearing or further proceeding is ultimately required hereunder, the appropriate fee shall be charged.

§ 97-8 Notice of initial determination. [1]

If the Planning Board determines that the proposed action is not an exempt action, not an action listed in § 97-3B thereof or § 617.13 of Title 6 of 6 NYCRR as a Type II action and that it will not have a significant effect on the environment, the Planning Board shall prepare, file and circulate such determination as provided in § 617.10 of Title 6 NYCRR and thereafter the proposed action may be processed without further regard to this chapter. If the Planning Board determines that the proposed action may have a significant effect on the environment, the Planning Board shall prepare, file and circulate such determination as provided in 617.10 of Title 6 NYCRR and thereafter the proposed action shall be reviewed and processed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and Part 617.7 of Title 6 NYCRR.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 97-9 Environmental impact statement draft.

Following a determination that a proposed action may have a significant effect on the environment, the Planning Board shall, in accordance with the provisions of Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR:
A. 
In the case of an action involving an applicant, immediately notify the applicant of the determination and shall at the Board's sole option either request the applicant to prepare an environmental impact report in the form of a draft environmental impact statement, or notify the applicant of the proposed fee and advise the applicant that the Board will prepare the draft environmental impact statement upon receipt of the fee; or
B. 
In the case of an action not involving an applicant, shall prepare a draft environmental impact statement. If the applicant decides not to submit an environmental impact report the Planning Board shall prepare or cause to be prepared the draft environmental impact statement, or in its discretion notify the applicant that the processing of the application will cease and that no approval will be issued. The Planning Board may require an applicant to submit a fee to defray the expense to it of preparing a draft environmental impact statement or receiving and reviewing the same if it is prepared by the applicant and condition the proceeding upon receipt of the fee. The fees shall be determined by the Environmental Conservation Law and Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR.

§ 97-10 Draft notice of completion of environmental impact statement.

A. 
Upon completion of a draft environmental impact statement prepared by or at the request of the town, a notice of completion containing the information specified in § 617.10 shall be prepared, filed and circulated as provided in said § 617.10 of Title 6 NYCRR. In addition, it shall be published in the official newspaper of the town and a copy thereof shall also be posted on the Town Clerk's sign board. Copies of the draft environmental impact statement and the notice of completion shall be filed, sent and made available as provided in § 617.10 of Title 6 NYCRR.
B. 
If the Planning Board determines to hold a public hearing on a draft environmental impact statement, notice thereof shall be filed, circulated and sent in the same manner as the notice of completion and shall be published in the official newspaper of the town, at least 10 days prior to such public hearing. Such notice shall also state the place where substantive written comments on the draft environmental impact statement may be sent and the date before which such comment shall be received. The hearing shall commence no less than 15 calendar days nor more than 60 calendar days after the filing of the draft environmental impact statement, except as otherwise provided where the Planning Board determines that additional time is necessary for the public or other agency review of the draft environmental impact statement or where a different hearing date is required as appropriate under other applicable law.

§ 97-11 Determination of no significant effect.

If, on the basis of a draft environmental impact statement or a public hearing thereon the Planning Board determines that an action will not have a significant effect on the environment, the proposed action may be processed without further regard to this chapter.

§ 97-12 Final environmental impact statement.

Except as otherwise provided herein, the Planning Board shall, at its option, prepare or cause to be prepared a final environmental impact statement in accordance with the provisions of Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR; provided, further, that if the action involves an application, the Planning Board may notify the applicant of the fee and upon receipt thereof prepare the statement or the Planning Board may direct the applicant to prepare the final environmental impact statement and charge a fee to review the same. Such final environmental impact statement shall be prepared within 45 days after the close of any hearing or within 60 days after the filing of the draft environmental impact statement, whichever last occurs; provided, however, that the Planning Board may extend this time as necessary to complete the statement adequately or where problems identified with the proposed action required material reconsideration or modification. Where the action involves an application, such final environmental impact statement shall be accompanied by the fee specified in this section to defray the expenses of the town in preparing and/or evaluating the same. The fees shall be determined by the Environmental Conservation Law and Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR.

§ 97-13 Notice of completion.

A notice of completion of a final environmental impact statement shall be prepared, filed and sent in the same manner as provided in § 97-10 herein, and shall be sent to all persons to whom the notice of completion of the draft environmental impact statement was sent. Copies of the final environmental impact statement shall be filed and made available for review in the same manner as the draft environmental impact statement.

§ 97-14 Decision to approve or disapprove.

No decision to carry out or approve an action which has been the subject of a final environmental impact statement by the Planning Board or by any other agency shall be made until after the filing and consideration of the final environmental impact statement. Where the Planning Board has been the lead agency for an action, it shall make a decision whether or not to approve the action within 30 days of the filing of the final environmental impact statement.

§ 97-15 Findings.

When a Planning Board decides to carry out or approve an action which may have a significant effect on the environment it shall make the following findings in a written determination:
A. 
Consistent with social, economic and other essential considerations of state policy, to the maximum extent practicable, from among the reasonable alternatives thereto, the action to be carried out or approved is one which minimizes or avoids adverse environmental effects including the effects disclosed in the relevant environmental impact statements; and
B. 
All practicable means will be taken in carrying out or approving the action to minimize or avoid adverse environmental effects.

§ 97-16 Filing of findings.

For public information purposes, a copy of the determination shall be filed and made available as provided in Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR.

§ 97-17 Files for public inspection.

The town shall maintain files open for public inspection of all notices of completion, draft and final environmental impact statements and written determinations prepared or caused to be prepared by the Planning Board.

§ 97-18 Actions involving more than one agency.

Where more than one agency is involved in an action, the procedures of §§ 617.4 and 617.8 of Title 6 NYCRR shall be followed.

§ 97-19 Other exempt actions.

Actions undertaken or approved prior to the dates specified in Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law for local agencies shall be exempt from this chapter and the provisions of Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law and Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR; provided, however that if, after such dates a Planning Board modifies an action undertaken or approved prior to that date and the Planning Board determines that the modification may have a significant adverse effect on the environment, such modification shall be an action subject to this chapter and Part 617 of Title 6 NYCRR.

§ 97-20 Town action.

Where the town is the entity which wishes to carry out an action other than the aforesaid exempt or Type II action, the Town Board, and not the Planning Board, shall have jurisdiction to determine whether said action may or will not have a significant effect on the environment. All information and statements required by this chapter to be submitted and all decisions required to be made shall be submitted to and made by the Town Board rather than the Planning Board.